Reviews

Independence Lost:

August 28, 2015

Those of you who’ve been hanging out in the Margins for a while now know there are some types of history books that can be counted on to make me say “I want to read this”: Books that tell a story we think we know from a radically different persepctive Books that deal with people […]

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In Search of Sir Thomas Browne

August 4, 2015

There are times when the book I read isn’t the book I think it’s going to be.* This happened to me recently with science writer Hugh Aldersey-Williams’ In Search of Sir Thomas Browne. I expected a biography. And I had Browne confused with someone else altogether, though I am no longer sure who. Possibly Robert […]

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Rival Queens

July 31, 2015

Nancy Goldstone has made a career of telling the often forgotten and always dramatic stories of powerful women in medieval Europe.*  In The Rival Queens: Catherine de’Medici, Her Daughter Marguerite de Valois, and the Betrayal That Ignited a Kingdom, Goldstone turns her attention to Renaissance France and its role in the growing struggle between Catholics […]

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From The Archives: Squeeze This!

July 28, 2015

I know it’s hard to believe, but even history bloggers sometimes think about something other than history.  We knit, canoe, wrestle bears, feed people, drink whiskey, and play with the cat.* Whenever we get the chance, My Own True Love and I pull on our dancing shoes and two-step and waltz to a Cajun band. […]

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Song of the Vikings

July 21, 2015

As I’ve mentioned before, My Own True Love and I are in countdown mode for a history nerd trip to Iceland.  As a result, my head is full of Vikings. * We’re going on a tour based on Nancy Marie Brown’s excellent Song of the Vikings: Snorri and the Making of Norse Myths.  The heart […]

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Here There Be –Sea Monsters?

July 11, 2015

My Own True Love and I are in countdown mode for a trip to Iceland.  You can expect future posts to be full of Vikings and other things Nordic.  Here’s a little something to get us all in the mood: In 1539, Swedish mapmaker Olaus Magnus produced what was then the most detailed map of […]

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Shin-kickers From History: Joan of Arc

July 7, 2015

Several months ago, I asked a group of family and friends to tell me what they knew about Joan of Arc, aka St. Joan, aka the Maid of Orleans–no stopping to look up the details. I needed to know how familiar the average smart, well-read, non-specialist is with her story.* The accuracy and detail of […]

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From the Archives: Easter Island: Not So Mysterious After All

June 30, 2015

One of the other places I hang out on the internet is Shelf Awareness for Readers–a very cool review publication that reaches the e-inboxes of avid readers twice a week.* I review new history books, with an occasional excursion into cookbooks or misc. reference works. Some of those reviews find their way here. Some of […]

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Lovelace, Babbage, and Steampunk Comics

June 9, 2015

Normally when I use the phrase “comic-book history” here on the Margins I’m referring to the shorthand popular version of history that we learned as children and carry in our hearts as adults:  Abraham Lincoln dashing off the Gettysburg address on the back of an envelope,  the first American Thanksgiving, Marie Antoinette’s infamous line “let […]

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History on Display–From Senegal to Seeger: Stories of the American Banjo

June 5, 2015

Recently My Own True Love and I had the chance to see Michael Miles’ most recent one-man musical documentary, From Senegal to Seeger: Stories of the American Banjo. It was a last-minute addition to a long-planned small-scale road trip.  It turned out to be one of the highlights. We both love the banjo. We’d seen […]

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